Latvia is celebrating 25 years of freedom from the Soviet reign although, finally they are positioned to take center stage after working very hard to play catch up with its European counter-parts. Latvia holds some of the deepest history in the Baltics.
Visiting Latvia as a country you can experience hundreds of castles and house manors that are crumbling but deep with roots and soul of Latvia. You can find castles from medival to Rococo hidden deep within the nation’s dense forest of pine trees. Today many of these properties have been transformed into hip inns and museums. You could easily spend a week or more in the countryside, I only spent a couple days.
This area of Europe, the north eastern side, often has terrible misconceptions opposed on them when it comes to the food. The traditional “sweaty pork and potatoes” has came a long way. There is a growing population of New Nordic chefs that are using local flavors and bring them to new heights. Its my opinion that Michelin should be paying much more attention to this region.
I spent most of my time in the country’s capital city, Riga, in 2014 it reigned as the European Capital of Culture. This helped provide a lot of funds to the city and helped push further advancements in the refurbishing much of the infrastructure and to the civic structure like the former KGB headquarters (now a museum), and the coveted Art Nouveau facades, which there are over 700 located in the city, one of the largest in the world.
Any time I am in Eastern Europe I will make time to try and visit Latvia, it is a beautiful place that I think is about to become a culture hub of the world. Its too good to remain unnoticed.